Mongolia Group Requests Riding Helmets

Every year more than 30,000 child jockeys ranging from the ages of 4-10 years old participate in traditional long-distance horse races in Mongolia. Peace Corps Volunteer Kara Estep is working with a local agency called the Department for Children to provide protective gear for the riders.

Mongolia child jockey

A child jockey participating in the Naadam racing festival.

"Due to the lack of financial resources, lack of knowledge, and indifference, many of the children embark on these races without proper protective gear like helmets and pads, and sometimes even without shoes or saddles," Estep said. "As a result, every year many children suffer from severe lifelong injuries, and for some of the most unfortunate, death."

Estep is asking for donations of new and used functional riding helmets, as well as other protective gear, such as knee and elbow pads.

For more information, or to make a donation, contact Estep at

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